"He is dead and he is going to die." So writes Roland Barthes with regard to a photograph of Lewis Payne by Alexander Gardner. Taken in 1865, the photograph depicts a young man - strong, beautiful, and shackled - who is to be executed for the attempted assassination of the Secretary of State of the United States of America. The photograph, like all old photographs, ostensibly "captures" a person long dead, but unlike many photographs it presumably captures something else: the expectant knowledge of death, its imminence. For Barthes, the upshot is a "defeat of Time" by way of a double recognition: "that is dead and that is going to die" (96, emphasis original). He slips into that, and as such he becomes a thing, an object of contemplation, our contemplation, we the living, here we the reading. Photography, with its lure of objectivity (it is not for anything that objectif objectiu, and objetivo also mean "lens" in French, Catalan, and Spanish), does indeed give the impression of capturing the dead and the dying, of suspending Cronus and his voracity even as it pays homage to them. But photography and other mechanical modes of reproduction are obviously not the only ways of depicting the dead, the condemned to death, and the dying - the dying who are also the living - and of offering them up to our ever so fragile contemplation. Long before photography was even a dream, painting, sketching, etching, carving, sculpting, and other more manual modes of reproduction took on the dead, the condemned to death, and the dying, and did so in ways that could not quite so easily dispense with the trace of the hand that, studiously or not, attempted to capture something passing or passed. In the modern age, however, both modes of reproduction coexist, one inflecting the other in ways that ensure that the representation of death is perpetually torn between the realities of perceptual subjectivity and the illusions of evidential objectivity. 1